Family-centered postnatal training and adherence to newborn care practices in district hospitals in two Indian states: A quasi-experimental intervention study
Background and Objectives: Globally, 2.5 million newborns die within the first month of life annually. The majority of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and many of these deaths happen at home. The study assessed if the Care Companion Program (CCP) an in-hospital, skills-based training given to families improves post-discharge maternal and neonatal health outcomes. Methods: This quasi-experimental pre-post intervention study design compared self-reported behavior and health outcomes among families before and after the CCP intervention. Intention to treat analysis included families regardless of their exposure to the intervention. Mixed effects logistic regression model, adjusted for confounders, was fit for all observations. Effects were expressed as Relative Risks (RR) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI). Results: At 2-weeks post-delivery, telephone surveys were conducted in the pre (n = 3510) and post-intervention (n = 1474) groups from 11 district hospitals in the states of Karnataka and Punjab. The practice of dry cord care improved significantly by 4%, (RR = 1.04, 95%CI [1.04,1.06]) and skin to skin care by 78% (RR=1.78, 95%CI [1.37,2.27]) in the post-intervention group as compared to pre-intervention group. Furthermore, newborn complications reduced by 16% (RR=0.84, 95%CI [0.76,0.91]), mother complications by 12% (RR=0.88, 95%CI [0.79,0.97]) and newborn readmissions by 56% (RR=0.44, 95%CI [0.31,0.61]). Outpatient visits increased by 27% (RR=1.27, 95%CI [1.10,1.46]). However, outcomes of breastfeeding, mothers diet, hand-hygiene, and process indicator of being instructed on warning signs were not different. Conclusion: Postnatal care should incorporate pre-discharge multi-pronged training of families to improve essential maternal and newborn care practices. The CCP model runs on a public-private partnership and is integrated into existing health systems. Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to improve outcomes through a family-centered approach in India. The CCP model can be integrated into formalised hospital processes to relieve overburdened healthcare systems in LMIC settings.